Women In The Mist (4)

(Continued from Part three on Sun in Gemini)

The spiritual, stripped of the trappings of religion, is a search for the real. We may protest that we already live lives that are real. It is one of the hardest and yet most profound jobs of a magical or mystical school, such as the Silent Eye, to show, as gently as possible, that this is not true…

The real is what is in front of us, but the way we see that is conditioned by our lives to that point. Young children see what is. They live in the real, but, other than see they can do nothing with it, because the slow climb to adulthood and outward ability is ahead of them. The conditioning, which is an essential part of all our lives begins then, when the first reactions to life are felt – often very vividly. A process begins in the infant soul; a process that develops a psychological self-for-the-world.

By the time we achieve adulthood, this self-for-the-world has crystallised into a largely mechanical set of beliefs and opinions. This hard shell, completely necessary for our survival and success in society, is what prevents us seeing what is in front of us – the real. But the process is, thankfully, reversible, in the sense that, when the climb to success loses its sparkle, and we long for something lost and deeper, our adult self can gather enough resolve and personal power to use where it is as the fuel and map for the journey back…

This is the job of the ‘mystery schools’, and has always been so.  Six thousand years ago, the priestesses working within the Neolithic stones of East Aquorthies would have understood this. The role of a priest or priestess has always been to open the gates of the real – in gradual stages that do not overwhelm those in their charge. It’s not an exact science, in that each person is different and must be treated so. It is a deep responsibility, done for the benefit of the Companion on the path, and not for the ego of the ‘guru’.

The path of the real is demanding and wonderful; but, sooner or later, it will bring you to a different relationship with what’s in front of you…

It’s Saturday morning, the main day of our Scottish weekend Maiden, Mother, Crone. We’ve left Midmar behind, nestling in its beautiful, green valley. Allan has carefully kept the convoy of cars together, not wanting us to separate, again. We are now in Cullerie. The Historic Scotland notice board describes it thus: ‘This bronze age sepulchral stone circle of eight boulders, excavated in 1934, encloses an area on which eight small cairns were later constructed. 1800-1200.’

What’s in front of me, between our group and the stones in the near distance, is a wolf…

I don’t differentiate between dogs and wolves. No matter how designer-breeding has altered their appearance and size, they are all wolves. Apparently, they chose us; they chose to be useful companions around our campfires because we we good at things, and their chances of survival were better with us, than trying to eat us.

The sheepdog from the farm next door clearly has a job he loves: he guides visitors into the stone circle, his stone circle. On one level, that’s cute but not remarkable. On another, and particularly in light of what was to be revealed in the next few minutes, he’s showing us that Kissing Wolf is missing, and he searches for those who understand the hole in the circle that was.

 

The eight stones are bronze age–at least two thousand years later than the wonderful circle at East Aquorthies. But that leap in technology is not the only surprise; the women have gone. Cullerie represents a sacred circle presided over only by men. The age of the moon-priestesses had ended. What happened to set that in motion is lost in pre-history. The other shock about Cullerie is what hits you as you approach it: there is a deep sadness and wrongness about the place, at least compared to East Aquorthies. Something dreadful happened here; something that led to the burial or re-burial of the cremated remains of a group of treasured souls within the ‘protection’ of the circle.

From Allan’s handout: “The interior had been levelled prior to the erection of the stones and later the ground was burnt all over by setting fire to piles of willow twigs. On the area so consecrated eight small ringed burial cairns were built, five of which yielded burnt human bones and charcoal, one scrap of pottery, and three worked flints. The finding of oak charcoal in five of the cairns, and hazel charcoal in one other, would indicate not all deposits were contemporary.”

What caused this? We will probably never know. An earlier robbery at the site removed any of the artefacts prior to 1934. But there is still a great sense of fear about the place. It could have been widespread crop failure leading to starvation; or disease, or it could have been an invasion of a hostile tribe intent on overrunning the native culture, as must have been common in those fragile times. It could have been something entirely different and darker… Whatever happened, the protection offered to the burnt bones of those interred here, seems to have worked – they were left undisturbed; ironically… until our own times.

Some of the group left the site early; they were too affected by its sad and dark atmosphere.  I stayed until the end, watched by the wolf. His final gesture was to walk me back towards the car, collecting the stick that I threw for him. His eyes were loving and bright; he loved the company. Barb had her own dog with her. Our collie was several hundred miles away, but she would not have minded me sharing her packet of treats that I found in the car’s boot…

To be continued…

Other posts in this series:

Part One, Part Two, Part Three.

Stephen Tanham is a director of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, a not-for-profit organisation that helps people find the reality and essence of their existence via low-cost, supervised correspondence courses.

His personal blog, Sun in Gemini, is at stevetanham.wordpress.com

©️Stephen Tanham

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